Tag Archives: Zardari

Iran’s Ahmadinejad Blasts Islamic Extremism!

At a summit meeting between leaders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad joined with his colleagues to issue a Tehran Declaration against Islamist extremism and the drug trade. They expressed their concern how the drug trade was impacting their nations and disturbing efforts to create stable societies. President Zardari of Pakistan, President Karzai of Afghanistan accompanied Ahmadinejad to meet with Iran’s religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He told them “extremism has not only created problems for the region, it also threatens others.. especially those who created this extremism by funding it through their policies.” He apparently was referring to American military actions by Bush which have spawned terrorism in the region.

It is somewhat ironic to have President Ahmadinejad who supports extremism joining in denunciation of what he has supported. It is also ironic that Americans still do not grasp how Bush policies in the Middle East created terrorists and caused instability in the region. Isn’t it time the United States had a commission study the entire range of George Bush policies that have created so many problems in the Middle East and Asia?

Pakistan Says Everything OK On Nuclear Front

The Pakistan government has already given the Taliban control of the Swat Valley which only increased the appetite of these fanatics to extend their control even further into the neighboring district with no end in sight to further advances. President Zardari assured the world there was no chance the Taliban would gain control of his nation’s nuclear weapons and promised the army had everything under control. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear the United States could not envision the Taliban in control of nuclear weapons which suggests there might be plans for some type of armed intervention unless Zardari and the Pakistan army show some fight.

The Taliban is within a hundred miles of the capital but Zardari insists there is nothing to fear. He made a deal with the Taliban allowing them to control the Swat Valley in exchange for peace and the only peace that has resulted is the Taliban taking more and more pieces of Pakistan. The unanswered question is where does the Pakistan army stand in this mess?

Talban Expand Power In Pakistan

The Pakistan government arranged a “peace agreement” with the Taliban which allowed Islamic fanatics to impose Sharia law in the Swat Valley and, in effect, become the ruling power in the region. This display of weakness has only made the Taliban more confident of their power and hundreds of its soldiers were sent into the neighboring Buner district where they quickly made clear Sharia law was now in effect and they would decide what happens in the area. A Taliban commander said they would establish strict Islamic sharia courts in Buner, but would allow the police to continue their work dealing with local criminals.

In theory, the agreement between the Pakistan government and the Taliban was for disarmament in exchange for the right to impose sharia law. Taliban leaders must be laughing at this naive attitude on the part of President Zardari who actually believed the Taliban would adhere to any agreement! At some point, Zardari has to get a touch of reality and send in the army to restore his government’s power. Or, Pakistan will witness a salami tactic by the Taliban of slicing off one district at a time until one day Zardari wakes up to discover he is now an ineffectual president of a Taliban nation.

Zardari Wants Drones But Will He Use Them?

President Asif Zardari told the British newspaper, The Independent, that his nation should be provided drones and other missiles by the United States in order to allow Pakistan to take the initiative in the war against extremists. “We would much prefer that the US share its intelligence and give us the drones and missiles that will allow us to take care of the problem on our own.” In his view the use of drones by American forces to hit targets in Pakistan violates the national sovereignty of his nation. Even as he spoke Taliban forces were leaving the Swat Valley and entering new areas of the country to spread their terror. According to Zardari, Pakistan is ready to take up Obama’s challenge and act on their own against the Taliban.

We can only wonder if the Pakistan president has checked in with his secret intelligence, the ISI who works hand-in-hand with the Taliban. Exactly how can the Pakistan army take out the Taliban if every move on their part is being revealed to the enemy. First, Zardari has to clean house and make certain his military leaders are on the same page as the president. After all, they have already turned the Swat Valley over to the Taliban.

Pakistan Seeks Compromise Solution

Pakistan simply can not escape some form of turmoil and its people have never enjoyed a few years of peace and calm. The latest eruption stemmed from anger on the part of Nawaz Sharif to use anger among Pakistan lawyers as a tool in his bid for power in government. Thousands of lawyers are still angry at President Musharraf who fired Supreme Court Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and replaced him with someone who would not anger the government. After Musharraf was forced from office, Sharif wanted the new president, Asif Ali Zardari to reinstate Chaudhry, but the president retained the Musharraf appointee. Sharif was banned from politics by the current courts and is now formenting anger among lawyers in order to force a change in government and get back his right to participate in politics.

Zardari sees Chaudhry as a threat to his own power. A proposed compromise would create a constitutional court and an appellate court and Chaudhry would head one. Under the compromise, Sharif who was chief minister in Punjab would get the right to appeal his removal and the province assembly would appoint a new chief minister. There are no perfect solutions in life.

Somehow, Pakistan has to get back to focusing on ending the Taliban and al-Qaeda threat or there will be a disaster that could shake the world.

More Trouble In Pakistan

If Pakistan did not have enough trouble, they have more headed for a final resolution either today or in the coming weeks. Nawaz Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League-N, has been told by the courts of his country that both he and his brother are barred from running for office in the province of Punjab which is the nation’s most significant state. He is furious at the Supreme Court which has consistently ruled against him and blames President Zardari for being the man behind the scenes determining who can or cannot rule against him. The prior head of the Indian Supreme, Iftikhar Chaudhry, was sacked by former President Musharraf and Sharif wants him restored to office. He is attempting to organize a march of thousands or hundreds of thousands who would demand the restoration to power of Chaudhry. Sharif assumes once in office, the new Supreme Court justice will allow him to run for public office.

The problem at this time is looming in the coming days is a march by thousands of lawyers, continued instability in tribal areas, and a nation whose economy is declining as militants gain more power in the nation, A basic issue is how does Pakistan get someone in charge who can run the country. Who knows, the Pakistan might decide they have to step in.

Mumbai Attacks Threaten Pakistan-India Relations

The horror of Mumbai which continues as gun men still are fighting in the hotels they seized will not go away even after every one of the terrorists are placed in prison. The government of India is furious because it believes at least elements of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Agency(ISI) either knew about the proposed raids or actively assisted those involved in the attacks. President Zardari insists he opposes terrorism, but the more important question is does he control his own secret service whose actions in the past by organizing and funding the Taliban and helping al-Qaeda are ongoing points of anger within many countries of the world. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed “external forces” as the cause of terror in Mumbai and everyone knows he meant, Pakistan, as the “external forces.”

There is obviously need for President Zaradari to appoint an important military leader whose first task is to disband the ISI and then create a new intelligence agency which reports to the government, not to military officials. Until the ISI is brought under control there will be no trust from India or other nations of the world. The Taliban-al Qaeda links must be ended, once and for all.

Pakistan Lawyers Now Denounce President Zardari

During the past year, lawyers in Pakistan have organized themselves into a powerful force that seeks to create the basis of a democratic society. They staged countless demonstrations against the regime of President Musharraf who they believed had violated the Constitution and imposed a one man rule. They undoubtedly played a role in forcing the Musharraf resignation, but now they are upset at President Zardari who took over the high office. Now, lawyers are shouting in the streets, “”What is Pakistan’s new disease” Zardai, Zardari!” They are furious because Zardari does not wish to reinstate supreme court justices who were fired by Musharraf. Zardari has fears an independent judiciary might set about checking his own sordid background. His nickname while his wife, Benazir Bhutto was in office, was “Mr. Ten Percent” referring to his cuts on government contracts.

The streets of Pakistan’c capitol echo with the shouts of lawyers shouting the name of Iftikhar Chaudhry, who was the chief justice fired by Musharraf and who has yet to be restored to office. Frankly, the chief justice is the only one in Pakistan politics who has made clear his desire to end corruption so that money can be used by the nation rather than by the men with out stretched palms.

Pakistan Talks Tough On Dealing WithTaliban

Pakistan President Zardari warned the Talian his nation was prepared to crush the terrorist group and will cooperate with the United States in achieving that goal. “I mean business. We will train ourselves with the US to present as trainers to rase the quality of certain forces.” However, he made clear to the Bush administration that Pakistan makes its own decisions pertaining to dealing with terrorism and will not be bossed around by the United States. He warned against US military incursions into Pakistan. “It is counter-productive and a political price is paid.” Zardari emphasized his belief that al-Qaeda and the Taliban played a role in the death of his wife, Benazir Bhutto.

Zardari said there would be new incentives for dealing with tribal areas such as industrial investment, working with farmers for crops other than poppy, and strong military action.

In the meantime, there are rumors a Saudi initiated peace effort is secretly taking place in Afghanistan.

Pakistan President Warns US About Air Attacks

Pakistan’s president has warned George Bush that since his nation is an ally of the United States he will not accept any further American attacks on his soil. Ali Zardari promised to do all “by any power” to prevent any nation from attacking inside his nation and killing its citizens and that includes the American military. “We will not tolerate the violation of our sovereignty by any power in the name of combating terrorism.” Foreign Minister Qureshi insists his nation was not warned about this week’s American raid which resulted in the death of more Pakistani civilians. Pakistan has about 100,000 troops in tribal areas where they are doing the best they can to fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces.

George Bush is angry because his failure to use American troops in 2001 to completely crush the Taliban allowed them to regroup and become a major source of terrorism in tribal regions of Pakistan. Part of the president’s anger is because Pakistan should have known he was incompetent and they should have made adjustments and worked much earlier to destroy the Taliban the Americans refused to destroy. Zardari still doesn’t get the point–George Bush is never wrong, its always the fault of liberals in Congress or incompetent Pakistanis.